Gold is considered a sign of wealth since ancient times. This metal is shiny and soft, and being so malleable was often used for state of the art jewelry and decorations. The gold was also used for a very long time in coinage.
Specialists estimate that the total volume of gold mined throughout the human history represents more than 150,000 tonnes. More than half of the gold held worldwide is jewelry while 20% represents national reserves held in central banks.
The top ten states with the largest gold reserves are:
1. United States 8,135 tonnes;
2. Germany 3,400 tonnes;
3. Italy 2,455 tonnes;
4. France 2,435 tonnes;
5. China 1,055 tonnes;
6. Switzerland 1,040 tonnes;
7. Russia 775 tonnes;
8. Japan 765 tonnes;
9. Netherlands 612 tonnes;
10. India 558 tonnes;
United States is by far the state with the biggest gold reserves worldwide. United States is surpassed only by the countries in Euro Zone (Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain) that hold a total of 10,792 tonnes of gold.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) also holds big gold reserves that recently reached over 2,845 tonnes. If IMF would be a country it would be the third in the top ten states by gold reserves.
In the economic environment the gold reserves held by central banks indicates wealth and offers confidence to foreign investors.
The gold reserves guarantee that the state can secure its own currency and will pay the investors and depositors. Taking this into consideration it’s obvious that the higher is the gold reserve the better is for the country’s external credibility. In the same time the volume of gold reserves is usually correlated with the population so the larger is the population the higher should be the gold reserves.